Actions Speak Louder

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Most of you have heard the phrase “actions speak louder than words”.  This well-worn phrase from the past, like many others, actually has a Biblical foundation.  Consider these for example,

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By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;    I John 2:3-4

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John’s point is that the proof of your what’s in your heart is in what you do, not in what you say.  If you say something and do the opposite, it is what you do that counts.

Titus said the same thing;

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They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.     Titus 1:16

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As did James

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What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him?   James 2:14-16

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No matter what they may claim, a narcissist’s functional (actual) philosophy is just the opposite.  They believe that what they claim is what really counts.

David accurately described them in Psalm 12

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They speak falsehood to one another;
With flattering lips and with a double heart they speak.
May the Lord cut off all flattering lips,
The tongue that speaks great things;
Who have said, “With our tongue we will prevail;
Our lips are our own; who is lord over us?”   Psalm 12:2-4

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Narcissists believe that they can achieve what they want through words, even if those words have no underlying substance.

A narcissist may get away with this “all talk, no action” approach for awhile, but it will catch up with them at some point.  They may fool some people for awhile, or jump from person to person to avoid being found out, but as always God has the last say in everything.

He sees their act, knows the lack of substance, and makes the final judgment based on actions, not words.

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“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.     Matthew 7:21-23

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Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally

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The Proof Of Everything

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Let’s take a little side trip here for a small discussion on the biggest of topics.  You will soon see it is very relevant to our discussion on insolent pride and narcissism.

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Every of life’s deepest challenges drives us to three most basic of questions:

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  1. Is there a God?
  2. Who is He (His nature, and attributes)?
  3. Does He have the wisdom, power, and love to care and help with things in my life?

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As we go about our daily lives, commuting to work, going to the grocery store, watching the game, or planning our next vacation, as we look out the window at gray skies, as we read the mostly awful and contentious news, it is difficult to relate God to our stress-filled and sometimes tedious lives.

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We do not see Him, we see the mess around and in us, and yet we are supposed to place Him at the center of how we operate?  We are supposed to respond in kindness to crummy people?  It would sure be nice to know that what we base our lives on is actually real, and not a figment of our imagination – as many people seem to think.  Some reliable proof of the existence and character of God would be nice.

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In fact, God has given us proof.  The first, general proof is in nature, or Creation.  While there are non-stop efforts to explain away often obvious facts, the creativity and detail of the world above and around us screams that there is a Creator.  The night sky in the Rocky Mountains reveals this small corner the Milky Way galaxy.

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How can you consider the hundreds of billions of  these galaxies, each containing hundreds of billions of stars – suns like ours, and not wonder where it all came from?  Scientists have tried to explain it all, apart from God, with a big bang theory, but still cannot get to the ultimate origin.  What came before the Big Bang?  Theories always hit a limit of understanding with respect to everything we see.  The more we know about eyes, cells, everything visible and even invisible – the more difficult it is to believe that it happened by chance.  This discussion is far beyond the scope of this blog.

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But there is an even more inescapable proof of the reality, love and power of God.  The sad fact is that everyone dies – a final and irreversible death.  Do you personally know anyone who was dead for multiple days, and then came back to life?  The ultimate proof that God is real is the resurrection of Jesus on the third day after His death.   The importance of Jesus’ resurrection as a proof of the reality of God is one reason God made sure it was a well-documented fact.  There are several sources that discuss this proof, such as here

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If Jesus’ resurrection from the dead is proof of God’s existence – and power – then the events that led to Jesus death are proof of His love.

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But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:8

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He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?   Romans 8:32

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And this love is intimate and personal.

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O Lord, You have searched me and known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue,
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high, I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will lay hold of me.    Psalm 139:1-10

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For everyone struggling with a narcissist in their lives, the reality of a wise, infinitely powerful, and personally loving God changes everything.

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Click here for initial steps on how to know God personally.

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Narcissist Traits – No Limit To Their Kingdom Building

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One characteristic of true narcissists / those with insolent pride is that there is no limit to their desire for being exalted by others.   They are the ultimate “kingdom builders”, with the goal of showing their “greatness”.  The only thing limiting them is their opportunity.  That is why classic narcissists like Hitler and Napoleon would could be relatively obscure, but when given the opportunity would move quickly to create the biggest kingdom possible – at the expense of many other people, of course.

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Habakkuk 2:4-5

“Behold, as for the proud one,
His soul is not right within him;
But the righteous will live by his faith.
“Furthermore, wine betrays the haughty man,
So that he does not stay at home.
He enlarges his appetite like Sheol,
And he is like death, never satisfied.
He also gathers to himself all nations
And collects to himself all peoples.

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As the ultimate narcissist, this very much applies to Satan.  Satan’s goal is to gather to himself all nations, and collect to himself all people – to himself and away from God – even though Satan knows full well that those people will be utterly destroyed as a result.   (See here for the first step in not falling into Satan’s trap)

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Click here for a short discussion of the first steps to know God personally

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  • Narcissism is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride” – see here
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Book Announcements

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Davidson Trust Publishing is announcing the following books:

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“Lot’s Choice” – just released in print and on Kindle.

“Lot’s Choice” is a short book triggered by a discussion our church home group had a few months ago on the chapter “He Hesitated” from JC Ryle’s book  “Holiness”.  “Lot’s Choice” discusses the essential criteria for making decisions good for our lives, while avoiding the unforeseen outcomes of trying to have it both ways.  It is a straightforward case study – easily used for personal Bible study or for group discussions from youth to adults.

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In the works are two additional books.

  • “Do Not Worry About Tomorrow:  A Biblical Perspective On God’s Provision”
    • Release date – February 28, 2020

 

  • “Signposts:  On The Road To The End of History”  (working title)
    •  Expected release date – June 2020
    • A book that outlines
      • the prophetic signposts we are currently witnessing,
      • what they mean
      • how to prepare for what is to come

 

 

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Narcissists Complain Alot

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If you notice, Narcissists [aka those with insolent pride], tend to complain – a lot.   The Bible of course speaks to this.

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Both the Pharisees and the scribes* began to grumble , saying, “This man receives sinners and eats with them.   Luke 15:2

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When they [Pharisees*] saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”   Luke 19:7

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These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage.    Jude 1:16

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The Greek word for grumble is diagoggýzō , which means constantly, intensely murmuring (grumble, complain). It is an intensified form of goggýzō (“murmur”) to convey “heavy complaining,”.  Narcissists don’t just complain, they really gripe when things do not suit them.  Of course, this is consistent with their insolent pride, which believes that life’s events must conform to their wishes or views, and when they don’t somebody – or everybody – is going to hear about it.   This is a narcissistic trait, but it can also be one of their tactics – their loud complaints is an indirect way to force  others to comply with their wishes.

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*The Pharisees were classic narcissists – see here as a starting point.

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The Range Of Perspectives On Narcissism

If you’ve found this blog, there is a good chance you – or someone you care about – has experienced some of the more damaging consequences of genuine narcissism.

Maybe you didn’t realize you were dealing with a narcissist at first, but the pain and damage this selfish, arrogant, condescending, and domineering person caused might have driven you to search for answers about what was going on, and how to deal with them.  As you searched online or in books, perhaps you read more about who this type of person is, and how he or she operates.  You likely have read explanations on causes, and advice on how to deal with this “narcissist.”

Those looking for help with understanding and dealing with a narcissist have typically turned to the following five sources:

    • Professional psychologists or psychiatrists
    • The pop-psychology world of books, blogs, self-help forums, etc.
    • Christian psychologists
    • Biblical counselors[i]
    • A shoulder to cry on (i.e. – a caring friend)

Of the above, by far the most commonly sought sources have been the world of pop-psychology and caring friends.  My own journey of discovery started with asking God for “help!”, but my first stop on the road was the world of pop-psychology.  However, God soon showed me that He has something to say on the subject. Continue reading

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Boundlessly Good, Continued

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As I mentioned previously, the book “Boundlessly Good” is a modernized version of Stephen Charnock’s classic chapter on the goodness of God.  As this blog has publishing rights to that book, I have created a second blog that gives small excerpts from the book every few days.  It is a way to read the key excerpts from Boundlessly Good in bite size chunks, and thus rather painlessly read a Christian classic over time.

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The blog is called “Boundlessly Good”.  I invite you to take a look.

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Top 10 Jobs

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For a little related-topic fun……  As you dig into the article, all of the traits they attribute to “psychopaths” sound a lot like “narcissists”*.

Infographic: The 10 jobs that attract the most psychopaths | Statista
You will find more statistics at Statista

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  • “Narcissism” is the modern colloquial term for what the Bible calls “insolent pride”.  See here.
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Is Narcissism* On The Increase?

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When you look around, it surely looks as though narcissism* is on the rise.  People seem to be increasingly selfish, self-centered, and arrogant, while common civility is on the decline.  We can debate whether we are “in the last days”, but the description in 2 Timothy 3 appears very close to what is currently taking place…..

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2 Timothy 3

But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these….

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……. 7 (they are) always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.  (see Prov 14:6)

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8b so these men also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all……..

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13 But evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived…….. 

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If it sometimes seems as though things are getting worse, the Bible tells us that in the last days things actually will get worse – including from those pretending to be “religious”.  But the writer Paul goes on to give some proscriptive advice to the young man he was mentoring (and through this to us) …..

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Continue reading

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